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Valley Interfaith: Tax Breaks Should Not Be Paid For w/Funds That Could Go to Schools

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In the attached audio interview, Rosalie Tristan and Joe Hinojosa, both organizers with Valley Interfaith, Joe Higgs from IAF, and Bob Fleming, an organizer with The Metropolitan Organization of Houston, say tax breaks for large corporations should not be paid for with monies that would otherwise go to public education. 

[Photos: Rosalie Tristan (left), Joe Hinojosa (holding sign in center) and Bob Fleming (right)]

Valley Interfaith: Don't Suck Money Out of Public Education to Help Large Corporations, Rio Grande Guardian [audio] 



OTOC Partners with Nebraska Chamber for Immigration Reform

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From downtown Omaha to the shadow of Scotts Bluff National Monument,... the chronic lack of in-state workers to fill jobs...brought an unusual pair of groups to North Platte Dec. 1 as they build a coalition of agricultural, business, health care, education, labor and community leaders from one end of the state to the other.

It sprang from months of talks between the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Omaha Together One Community, a 30-year-old, faith-based advocacy group that had mainly focused on social justice issues in its home city.

They say it’s time for Nebraska to aggressively recruit internationally to grow its workforce — in other words, welcome immigrants....

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DAI Leaders Confront Unbearable Apartment Conditions

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On Wednesday, residents will join Dallas Area Interfaith, Bachman Lake Together and Lumin Education in a meeting with city officials to demand solutions to what they describe as “risky and unbearable living conditions” in many units.

“We are ready to speak up, and we are not scared anymore. All the things we went through are helping us to move forward,” said Claudia Cruz, 38, a mother of three children who lives in an apartment in the area. “We are not victims, we are organizers now, and we want the city and those in charge to work with us.”

[Photo Credit: Maria Ramos Pacheco, Dallas Morning News]

Dallas Tenants Counter ‘Unbearable’ ConditionsDallas Morning News [pdf]

 

 


'Recognizing the Stranger' Convocation Commemorates 5-Year Organizing Strategy

Over 300 leaders, clergy, religious, and bishops from 20 organizations gathered last week in San Antonio to celebrate five years of Recognizing the Stranger, a West/Southwest IAF training, leadership formation, and parish organizing strategy. 

The Convocation was highlighted by a video message from Pope Francis, who offered his “closeness and support” to the IAF network and its work to organize with immigrants and with those at the margins to encourage “participation of the Christian in public life.”  

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A Message from Pope Francis | Un Mensaje del Papa Francisco

Delivered to the West/Southwest IAF 'Recognizing the Stranger' Convocation in San Antonio, February 28 - March 1

Over 300 leaders, clergy, religious, and bishops from 20 organizations gathered last week in San Antonio to celebrate five years of Recognizing the Stranger, a West/Southwest IAF training, leadership formation, and parish organizing strategy. 

The Convocation was highlighted by a video message from Pope Francis, who offered his “closeness and support” to the IAF network and its work to organize with immigrants and with those at the margins to encourage “participation of the Christian in public life.”  


LA Times Memorializes Bishop Dave

"Over a 43-year career across Los Angeles County, the Spanish-speaking Irish immigrant stood up for his working class parishioners against federal and local officials and even his own bosses. Even after Pope Francis appointed him as a bishop in 2015, O’Connell never lost his common touch....

'He had a very fierce passion for justice, for the dignity of people,' said [One LA] lead organizer Robert Hoo, who had known him since 2005....Hoo sent me two video clips, [one] from a Zoom meeting last month, where O'Connell greeted IAF members who had recently met with Pope Francis about their organizing efforts.  In it, the bishop stood in his office and beamed.

'God bless you for all you’re doing,' he said. 'You’re our best hope — not just for your own communities, but for the church and our society. For America, right now.'"

[Photo Credit: Wally Skalij, LA Times]

‘He Brought Us In Closer’: The LA Journey of Bishop O'Connell, Los Angeles Times


Remembering Bishop David O'Connell

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the sudden and tragic passing of Bishop David O’Connell. He was a beloved bishop, an extraordinary pastor, and a close friend of our network. Bishop Dave (as he was known) was a true shepherd to his flock -- embedded in the lives of his parishioners and teaching thousands of One LA-IAF leaders to love their neighbor and fight against injustice.

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Remembering Fr. Alfonso M. Guevara

Fr. Alfonso Guevara, a long-time clergy leader with Valley Interfaith, passed away on February 10. He was worked for many years to help ordinary men and women develop their confidence and skills people so they could do extraordinary things in the parishes and communities. Here are a few statements made by Fr. Guevara to the Rio Grande Guardian.

Some reflections from Fr. Alfonso Guevara [pdf]

Tributes Pour In for Valley Interfaith Clergy Leader Alfonso GuevaraRio Grande Guardian [pdf]

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National Gathering of Ministers Features COPS/Metro Collaboration w/San Antonio Archdiocese

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At a national gathering of Catholic Social Ministers organized by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), COPS/Metro's work with San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller was featured prominently in plenary sessions and a workshop around local organizing for gun safety reform. 

During a panel discussion with the Archbishop, Josephine Lopez-Paul shared how COPS/Metro worked with the San Antonio Archdiocese in the aftermath of the massacre at Uvalde in 2022.  The Archbishop made an impassioned plea to infuse love into a "culture of death" through faithful participation in the political process around issues impacting life, including gun safety reforms. 

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